Auto Ordnance Thompson “SMG” Carbine

Dredging up another old post for those who may never dip into our back archives. I know I said we would start doing this back in the early summer. I forgot.  Anyway…  Here is a look back on a review of an utter piece of crap no one should buy.

Howard – I had an Auto Ordnance Thompson back in 2002.  It was garbage.  The sights fell off.  It was unreliable.  Extremely heavy horrible trigger pull, etc.  All the Auto Ord guns I have seen since then have been bad.  The fit and finish and the profile of the wood stocks have improved, but the sights and reliability have not.

 

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A few weeks ago I got my hands on one of the  .45 ACPThompson Semi Auto carbines. The gun is obviously a semi auto copy of the iconic WW2 Submachine gun that every one has seen knows it on sight if not by name.  I have been curious about these for years ,I have fired Class III full auto originals before and it is very fun SMG and very, very easy to use and control.  So when offered a chance with one I was more than happy to get some time with it.  My fun ended very fast once I started to work with it.

The gun is a heavy brute like the original and the 16 inch barrel does not do it any favors. That is to be expected though since it is what it is.  One thing I noticed right off the bat was the butt stock was not made correctly. The angle of the butt plate was at such a degree the gun stock would slide off the shoulder. It was very hard to keep it on the shoulder during firing. It required a very awkward effort to keep it up  while fighting the weight.   The next problem was the tolerances of the gun around the magazine well and breech. When firing the gun, your off hand would get burn up with burning and un burnt powder and anything else it felt like spitting out of the gap. Very hard to concentrate while shooting and not pleasant at all. At times, even with gloves and long sleeves I was had some real painful small burns.

As far as the sights go, the rear aperture was not even close to zero. The POI was often a 10 to 12 inches low  from 25 to 50 yards. Once I used the open notch at the top of the rear sight intended for very close range, I was able to shoot close to point of aim.

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The shots at the bottom were aimed at the highest dot. I tried several distance and got no better until moving to the open notch.

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This group is fired form 25 yards off a bench with an old bunch of Winchester silver tip .45 ACP. I was shocked to say the least. The gun is certainly capable of very decent accuracy.  The group below was fired at 25 yards under the same conditions but using Federal Hydra Shock.

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Both groups are 5 round strings. Of course I had to use the rear sights open close range notch on the top of the sight. Otherwise there was not way to get close to POI or even shoot a group of any quality.

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The group above is from 100 yards using Winchester Ranger T   230 grain hollow points. Again I had to use the close quarters notch. Not too bad considering what we are using. Since it was starting to get dar I was not able to move the bench and fired prone using only the old elbows in the dirt method. It is not to bad regardless,and some conclusions can be drawn from this target and the 25 yard groups. I would  expect the gun to be fairly accurate.

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Lastly I fired a little over 10 rounds at the head of the Q target from 50 yards off hand, This was very hard to pull off thanks to the improperly made stock and its freakish angle that made holding it on the shoulder for a cheek weld is  an Olympic level event.

Now, the biggest problem in addition to these other complaints is… The gun just will not work.  I was able to sometimes get as many as 10 consecutive rounds to feed before I was clearing malfunctions. Often it was failure to feed, bolt not going fully into battery. Double feeds, failures to eject or any number of strange things. While helping me test the gun I and my friend found that sometimes we could use our thumb to close the bolt  when the gun would not fire and often we would have to pull the trigger four times before the FCG would work. The bolt is small and smooth and hard to get a hold on. Both of us had our thumbs and hands mangled trying to clear it and keep it working. After about 500 rounds and a bucket of oil to try to keep it working we gave up.

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Do not buy this “gun” it is pure garbage.  This is typical of my experiences with Auto Ordnance products personally from this POS to the companies “1911” clones.  I have never seen anything good from them.  It really is a shame for a once great name.

5 thoughts on “Auto Ordnance Thompson “SMG” Carbine

  1. I have not had much experience with them but their QC does seem to be pretty sporadic. And more often to the crappier side of things. A real shame considering how many people would probably jump on their products if they weren’t such a crap shoot.

  2. The thing is that the articles 16 years old. Has anyone tested one of their carbines out more recently to reaffirm the original testers findings?

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